Gracie

  • Directors: Davis Guggenheim
  • Producers: Davis Guggenheim, Andrew Shue, Elisabeth Shue, John Shue
  • Writers: Lisa Marie Petersen, Karen Janszen, Andrew Shue, Davis Guggenheim, Ken Himmelman
  • Genres: Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Elisabeth Shue, Carly Schroeder, Dermot Mulroney, Jesse Lee Soffer, Andrew Shue, Trevor Heins

It is 1978 and 15-year-old Gracie Bowen (Carly Schroeder), who lives in South Orange, New Jersey, is crazy about soccer, as are her three brothers, neighbor, and former soccer star father (Dermot Mulroney). Although Gracie wants to join her brothers and father in the nightly practices, she is discouraged by everyone except her elder brother, Johnny (Jesse Lee Soffer).

Tragedy unexpectedly strikes when Johnny, the star of the Columbia High School varsity soccer team, is killed in a car accident. Struggling with grief over her family’s loss, Gracie decides that she wants to replace her brother on the team. Her father does not believe that girls should play soccer and tells her that she is neither tough enough nor talented enough to play with the boys team. He devotes most of his time and energies to Gracie’s brothers, particularly Johnny. Her mother, Lindsey Bowen (Elisabeth Shue), is a nurse who lacks the competitive drive of the rest of her family and who fears for Gracie’s safety. Lindsey later confesses to Gracie, in discussing gender inequities, that she would have liked to become a surgeon but that option was not available to her.

Feeling rejected by her father and depressed over the fact that her desire to play soccer is not taken seriously, Gracie begins to rebel. She stops doing her schoolwork, is caught cheating on an exam, and experiments with wild and self-destructive behavior. This serves as a “wake-up call” for her parents, particularly her father. He quits his job to coach her in soccer. When the school board rejects her request to play boy’s soccer, it is revealed that he wanted her to play women’s field hockey. Gracie files an appeal with the school board. Citing the newly passed Title IX, Gracie argues that since a girl’s soccer team does not exist, she should be allowed to play on the boy’s varsity soccer team. The school board allows her to try out for the team. After very rough tryouts, she makes the junior varsity squad and has to decide if she is willing to play at that level.

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